A less powerful order of hermes, a more S&M magic system

Can´t you just please READ correctly first at least?

Why oh WHY do you think the spell had DURATION CONCENTRATION!!!

Maybe, oh lets just guess wildly, maybe because it was a slow moving thing that took longer than 1 round? And unnatural was already accounted for in case you missed that as well.

We ran rules on a very flexible basis(because we were also already used to running games of Battletech, Mechwarrior(rpg), B5W, tournament style Axis&Allies, SRR, chess, stratego, D&D etc, all games with their own issues needing to be fixed without killing the playing; also including some games me or my friend made). That first big campaign was really the only one that went without serious use of HRs.

Why would anyone question what this player did? She did it perfectly by the rules, and a maga not far from two HUNDRED years out of apprenticeship doing the occasional BIG spell? That´s expected, not bad.

I just think he/she must have rolled amazing. I do not care whose calculations you use: for a spont it is just awesome stuff if no wizard's communion was being used.


Alright, let's break it down to the closest spell to what's been described. In my opinion that's Push of the Gent Wave. That's a Base 4, and it's a stretch to call this the closest. I do not see how one can use a Base 1 guideline to cause water to move against the flow of gravity. Also, most (all?) of the spells from the main rule book seem to target a specific piece of water and have it do something for concentration duration, not move parts of it for as long as one is concentrating as the effect you've described does. Based on how this was done here, I'm curious about the maga's concentration score. But essentially, and as I see it in RAW this spell isn't possible as you describe it. It's much closer to Neptune's Wrath which is a ritual spell. In short, you're trying to fix something based on what I think was an incorrectly defined and under level spell.

Again, I don't think it is within the rules. I stand by my earlier base 20. Moving a volume of water the size of +6 from point A to B should not be Concentration duration, but should be Momentary, and everything added up makes it sufficiently large to make it a ritual. BIG spells are, by definition rituals, IMO.

Edit: Also, Neptune's Wrath is ritual for ritual for large effect. (Fixed some quoting tag issues.)

He can use concentration no problem. Why should be Momentary to hoover a large body of (whatever) from here to there? There are quite a few spells to move / change / push stuff around in the Terram section with a concentration duration. It still comes down to a level 50 spont spell or so, so I see no problem here. He just rolled like hell and managed something on the limit of his abilities. I know for sure that our characters could do that at the end of our saga, but certainly not at the start.

However, I would appreciate this debate taking place elsewhere of necessary :slight_smile: Thx.


Well, it's pertinent to the discussion here because if one is designing a magic system on an incorrectly designed spell, then that's a problem. I'm not saying you are, or that this thread isn't useful or interesting, despite it having veered off track. My comments have been more in the light of well, if you reduce X, you're going to possibly break Y when you do Z. If one is reducing X because of a misunderstood application of the spell guidelines, then fixing X because you're doing Z and Z is wrong to begin with is going to create much more difficult problems. If someone adopts Direwolf's changes because they think doing X is too easy, than they need to reconsider that X being too easy is a matter for debate.

I don't think the Rego rules were properly applied, and I'm not aware of any spells which allow one to affect part of a target and move it slowly over time. Rego affects the entire target all at one time.

Getting back to a less powerful Order...
I think that there are plenty of ways to make a less powerful magic system within the rules, things that don't seem to be applied consistently (or are contradictory or controversial or...).

Large spells become ritual seems to be an easy method for doing this. This is either SG fiat or troupe consensus. Direwofl's example almost certainly fits here.

Ritual spells always have a risk of botching. My views on this are well established, but the language in the rule book is contradictory, at best. Some people believe that if you master a spell you can avoid all risk of botch. I don't believe that's the case, but if you want a less powerful magic system, making rituals more risky may certainly make the Order less powerful. Magi then have to invest a fair bit into mastery abilities to negate the risk of a botch. Is your magus really going to risk 10 botch dice on the 10th magnitude ritual spell? Yes, this is problematic for the Aegis of the Hearth, and this is why I'd make Aegis mastery texts readily available to the covenant. There is a reason why the covenant knows a 50th level Aegis and doesn't cast it, unless necessary and relies on the 25th or 30th level Aegis...

Then outside of the rules...

Adjusting the aura system as I described here. While it may seem to be harsh, keep in mind the goal is to reduce the power of the Order and magi, magi will still be powerful, but significantly less so in a foreign aura, or when affecting a foreign aura. I like the idea of magi being holed up in their places of power because they are secure in their magic there, but the "real" world is much more unpredictable for them. The typical city has a divine aura of 3, which when translted into an Aura bonus as finally suggested by The Fixer becomes a 6, and multiplies out to a -18.

He seems to have moved the whole thing. ReCo guidelines allow Part control as well in any case (spasm of uncontrolled hand et al). Still a very large spell. Under the WIP system in this thread this would require

  1. A ceremonial casting several hours long. Quite an arcane casting enviroment as well (all kinds of wizardry parapharnalia)
  2. Several mages to perform, since otherwise no way you can pull this off.
  3. Probably a ritual spell (vis). A level 50 spell is still a ritual, even if sponted
  4. Probably a friendly SG that does not make the Mongols move from their location in the meantime :mrgreen:

So I think something like that can be pulled off, but you'd better make sure the dudes will be around by the time you cast the ritual. My starting magi have never been able to pull such a spell out of their hat for sure. My experienced magi might, but by that time I tend to be alpha SG-ing most of the big stuff, so my magi tend to be left as antisocial lab rats that hardly ever come out. Heheh.

Regarding the system:

  • I am more with LuciusT here. I guess my benchmark for a power level is a hedge wizard. Fire-blasting stuff, teleporting around and controlling the mind of princes are stuff that should requite quite some preparations. Now, opening a locked door or making your toothache stop are clear signs that you are a powerful magician :stuck_out_tongue: So I am searching am limit wehere common spells are level 5-10, not 20-30 (up to 40 when you are older).

  • Will look into the auras thing. it is in my "to do" list. Thanks :slight_smile:



No, the real issue is gentle movement should not exceed 1 pace per second IMO. That would mean hovering at around 3 km/h for about an hour. Concentration 4 is necessary to pull that off, not that it is all that hard.

((I'm not moving this, since Xavi decided to continue the discussion here... :smiley:))

Xavi's example of Spasms of the Uncontrolled Hand is one that fits the existing Rego Corpus guideline, though. That's not Part, and it is part of an existing guideline.

Target:Part is just that, Target:Part. One could move part of the lake (not the entire lake) for as long as the Magus wishes to concentrate. So, move part 1 to B, let it go and move part 2 to b, but you lot control of part 1. Part doesn't work in this instance, as it just controls a part of the target, not the whole target. And ostensibly would require casting the spell multiple times.

The concentration part I haven't even touched, but yes, a Concentration of 4 would allow her to do this for an hour, assuming no distractions. If I'm the SG, she's getting distracted. Somehow. The nymphs that call that lake home, etc, etc. Then there's the matter of size and distance. 1 pace per second=3 feet per second is somewhere above 2 miles per hour. The lake is 2-3 km in size, we'll just say two miles in size to make it convenient. To move the whole lake in an hour such that it can all fall down onto the Mongol horde below will take 2 hours and requires a concentration score of 8. Maybe half the lake is good enough. How far away is the lake, and how high up the mountain does it have to go.

In any event, we're arguing about a spell that wouldn't fly in any saga I've been a part of, unless it was a ritual, and deciding to redesign the magic system in response to that. That's where I'm coming from.

I would say that spasms and tongue are both legacy in the fact that they are individual. base1 +1 for Part sounds much more sensible according to official rules.


Sure, if the guideline didn't exist, I might be inclined to agree.

Yep, saw that. Sounds like an ad hoc guideline to justify spells that already existed, not the other way around. Retro-engineering the guideline to fit the spell, basically.


As currently written, WC is not that useful for casting big spells, since you first have to learn that spell. See the last sentence of the spell's description:

To me, knowing the spell means it's a formulaic or a ritual spell. You cannot "know" a spontaneous spell. That immediately rules out combination with LLSM, Diedne Magic or Casting Tablets.

So the main use of WC is to add penetration to the spell.

Or to add up to cast big stuff like hermes portals or neptune's wrath.

I feel that's relatively secondary, since you had to have a lab total high enough to learn them in the first place. I may be wrong, as this is not a spell I've seen used much in the past.

But my main point was that WC is of no use at all for spontaneous magic. So you need to be prepared (learn the spell) before you can exploit the extra boost that WC gives you.

Wizards Communion expressly cannot be used for spontaneous magic. Ars Magica Core Rules, page 160: Communion is a remnant of Mercurian rituals, so spontaneous spells may not be cast by this means, and it does not perfectly fit into the guidelines of Hermetic theory.

I agree that rules out spontaneous magic (although not necessarily under the house rules raised in this thread), but if I remember correctly the text for Casting Tablets specifically mentions wizard's communion can be used to cast the spell using a tablet, overruling that core-book sentence. I may be mistaken.

Regardless, I agree that the main use of WC is to add penetration to spells that could be cast without it, and concede that it cannot be applied to spontaneous spells. I still find WC's description very confusing - and the effect overly powerful. I would, again, for Arts as Abilities urge something more along the lines of providing a +20 bonus, whereas for a level 75 spell the RAW WC would provide close to +40 with just 2 participants...


You are remembering correctly, but the botch for the Wizard's Communion on a casting tablet also causes a botch on the spell being cast from a casting tablet. The mechanic isn't worked out, but I'd probably make the Wizard's Communion botch roll all the botch dice applicable to the conditions which is +1 for each WC participant and +1 for each pawn of vis. So that's a lot of botch dice... :smiley:

On thing considering, when resetting the bar to make 1st and 2nd magnitude the baseline, rather than 4th to 6th, is looking at how this impacts other things. Take Magic Sensitivity for instance. To retain the usefulness of this Ability, I'm thinking of lowering the Ease Factor for sensing spells. Similarly, I'm looking at adjusting the Intelligo Vim guidelines... so that the relative ease of detecting an "average" magnitude spell remains the same, even though that average has shifted.

I do think casting tablets are at the heart of your problem. We outruled them, casting from scroll was bad enough to leave it in fourth.